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How does erectile dysfunction affect the body?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Erectile dysfunction may affect the body in a variety of ways, depending on the cause. In all cases of ED, men are unable to get or maintain an erection that's firm enough to have sex. In some cases, such as those caused by high blood pressure or diabetes, this may mean that there's a problem with the flow of blood into the penis, or the blood may flow too quickly out of the penis. Sometimes, nerve damage caused by multiple sclerosis or other nerve problems may affect the nerves connected to the penis, causing problems in sensation. If hormone levels are low, ED may be just one of many symptoms, including a loss of bone and muscle mass.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.